By Ashley Moy-Wooten of Chicago Equal Voice
In response to Donald Trump’s presidential victory, several organizations came together on December 1st, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple to organize a powerful interfaith solidarity vigil and rally with over 650 people from different faith traditions and denominations in attendance.
During the vigil dozens of faith leaders made a solidarity commitment to stand with each other and all vulnerable communities that are targeted and at risk of great suffering by policies and incidents of hate. They also committed to reviving and realizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s great vision of the Beloved Community, and to fight hatred with love.
Chicago Equal Voice were co-conveners together with Southwest Organizing Project (Chicago), The Resurrection Project, and Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants. This was the first in a series of unity events being planned and led by Chicago Equal Voice organizations.
The Interfaith Commitment Pledge
In the wake of the 2016 presidential elections, in the midst of a rising wave of hate crimes and hateful policies targeting communities of color and other marginalized peoples, we come together to affirm that we are inextricably bound to one another and the common values upon which our diverse faith traditions are founded.
We recognize that millions of immigrant families are in very real danger. Mass deportations and Muslim registration and internment may have seemed impossible nightmares before. Now we find ourselves at the very edge of these nightmares becoming reality.
We stand in solidarity with these immigrant families and all in our midst who are frightened, feel marginalized or disrespected. We are resolved to stand in mutual solidarity with those groups who may be exposed to undue suffering as we move into a new season in our nation.
We will fight hatred and oppression with love. We are committed to non-violence and the creation of Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community. We will stand, lock arms, struggle and, if need be, suffer to protect the rights of all those in our community and nation.
We boldly proclaim:
- We are committed to making Illinois a safe and welcoming place for all people.
- We not only respect our differences in how we exercise our religious beliefs, but we embrace the diversity of religious beliefs and customs present in all who live, work, study, pray/worship or serve in our great state.
- We commit to providing protection and safe space for immigrants, Muslims and all peoples being targeted by hateful policies.
- According to Immigration Enforcement’s own longstanding policy, “sensitive locations” such as houses of worship, schools, universities, and hospitals are to be set aside as safe and holy places. This tradition, approved by the Department of Homeland Security, will be defended.
“The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For photos and more details about the event, check out this photo essay via the Chicago Tribune and a Spanish-language broadcast via Univision featuring an interview with Rami Nashashibi of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).